From NASA research to carving community bike/hike trails and sidewalk chart art for all to enjoy, here are the top 5 most creative service learning projects of 2021.



Service learning projects got creative in 2021!  Many programs faced fluctuating requirements and in-person community engagement opportunities.  There are plenty of virtual volunteer opportunities to be found but these 5 truly thought outside of the box.  Please note, there are so many great stories to be told.  These 5 service learning projects were selected for their creativity! 


Special Olympics Polar Plunge Team

The Special Olympics Polar Plunge may sound like an individual event but this service learning project started well before the cold water. This project included forming the team, learning about those with special needs and becoming an advocate to potential donors to raise money.  Then came the snowy day, the cold water, life lessons and great photos.  If you dont know, find out why they call it "Freezin for a Reason."   

NASA Research

Yes, you read that right!  This service learning project brought together high school students to provide agricultural research data to NASA.  Through a mixture of programming and engineering, the students are developing insights to help increase the productivity of urban farms.  Their efforts were so successful, their service learning project was chosen as a finalist along with two major state universities to meet with NASA and continue to develop their insights.

Blazing New Community Hike/Bike Trails

Just about everyone was ready to be outside when this service learning project took the initiative to build over 5 miles of new hike and bike trails.  It all started when students were looking for bike trails in their neighborhood. Not finding any, they found the perfect land and approached the property owners.  With the land owner's permission, this service learning project went into full gear building access trails for dog walkers, hikers and bikers.  The community response was incredible and they now see dozens of people enjoying the trails daily! Consider getting the whole family involved doing good outside across the country in Habitat for Humanity's RV Care-a-vanners program!  

Community Chalking

Sidewalk art and a creative mindset came together for this service learning project to beautify the community for everyone's enjoyment.  Considering the outlining, shading and execution involved it is easy to see why the project took some time but the end result was a very impressive piece of artwork for the entire community to enjoy.  What a wonderful service learning project for those with loved ones who they may be unable to visit in person!

Community Driven Food Drive 

Food drives happen in most schools but one service learning project took that to the next level. For weeks prior to the event, students took it upon themselves to pass out fliers in the neighborhood to raise awareness of the canned good food drive.  Students then stood outside for hours collecting canned goods the community dropped off.  Their service learning project produced over 1,000 pounds of food for the local food bank and very full hearts for the participants!    


Have an especially creative service learning project?  Send it to to share it with the MobileServe community!


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